Tag Archives | Paul Haggis

Lawrence Wright’s Amazing ‘New Yorker’ Feature On Scientology

Paul Haggis. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Paul Haggis. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Lawrence Wright’s forthcoming tell-all book about the Hollywood uber-cult Scientology (The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology) has been in the news often the past few weeks, mostly concerning speculation about whether or not award-winning scribe Paul Haggis “officially” collaborated with Wright.

The book still hasn’t been scheduled for publication and considering the cult’s propensity for litigation it might face considerable delays. For those who can’t wait, Wright has contributed a fascinating and lengthy essay on the topic to the current issue of the New Yorker.

It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the cult of Scientology. Here’s the beginning:

On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote.

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Paul Haggis And The Scientology Tell-All Book

Paul Haggis. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Paul Haggis. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

It’s been tagged as “the Scientology expose we’ve been waiting for” (Gawker), but some serious questions have been raised about just how much Paul Haggis has cooperated with New Yorker staff writer and Looming Tower author Lawrence Wright’s new book, The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology. The LA Times suggests it’s time for conspiracy theorists to ponder whether or not Haggis has been nobbled by the Scientology “Church”:

Paul Haggis has severed ties with the Church of Scientology. But maybe he’s not quite willing to tell all.

Last week, a number of reports said Haggis was collaborating on a Scientology-themed book with New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, who was also writing an as-yet-unpublished magazine article on the subject. The book was to explore the director’s involvement with, and disassociation from, the Church of Scientology.

The next day, a representative for the filmmaker messaged to clarify that while Haggis was cooperating with the book, he was not an author and would not benefit financially from it.

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Open Season for Scientology Bashing

Now it’s Salon’s turn to whale on Scientology (more please mainstream media, you have a lot of catching up to do):

When Paul Haggis, the writer of “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash,” kicked his faith to the curb after 35 years, he did so as only an Oscar-winning scribe could: with a badass screed. His resignation letter, dated Aug. 19, emerged on ex-Scientologist Mark Rathburn’s blog yesterday and promptly went viral.

In his letter, Haggis explains, “for ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego. Their public sponsorship of Proposition 8, a hate-filled legislation that succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California — rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state — shames us.” Though the Church claims not to dictate personal sexual practices and has several openly gay members, it’s perhaps no coincidence that Scientology also has a reputation as Hollywood’s biggest closet, with gay rumors persistently dogging famous members like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

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